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Published: Friday, 3/16/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

UT unlikely host in CIT tournament

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Say this much in favor of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament: There's no predicting what might happen.

Match ups are created after every round, organizers expanded this year's field by eight at the last moment, and one team in the tournament went to bed Wednesday night believing it would play one opponent and woke up Thursday to learn it would play another.

The University of Toledo will host Robert Morris at 2 p.m. Saturday, a departure from the original arrangement that had the Rockets visiting Oakland that same day.

Confusion between Buffalo and CIT organizers is at the center of all this. Both sides gave different versions of the story when contacted by The Blade.

A Buffalo spokesperson said the school never wished to host a second round game, and therefore, it refused a home game against Robert Morris. CIT president Joe Dwyer refuted that claim.

"We told them at some point, it could come in the second round, could come in the third round, there would be an opportunity to host, and they were fine with that," Dwyer said.

The resolution is this: Buffalo takes UT's spot and will visit Oakland, and UT will host Robert Morris.

Sending Buffalo to Robert Morris was not an option because RMU informed the CIT early on it is not willing to host until later in the tournament.

Amid the confusion, UT scored an advantage. Instead of hitting the road to face Oakland and the nation's leading scorer Reggie Hamilton, it will play its second game of the tournament at Savage Arena. UT (19-16) dispatched of McNeese State, 76-63, on Tuesday, the same night RMU (25-10) advanced with a 67-60 win at Indiana State.

RMU, which is 13-7 on the road, is led in scoring by guards Velton Jones (16.3) and Coron Williams (10.7). Six-foot-8 Mike McFadden (8.1 points, 4.2 rebounds) is their tallest starter.

The Colonials missed their chance to play in the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years when they fell to LIU Brooklyn, 90-73, in the Northeast Conference championship game.

Among RMU's best wins was a 70-67 decision over Mid-American Conference tournament champion Ohio in early January.

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com, 419-724-6160 or on Twitter @RyanAutullo



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